Date Sent: 05/03/2016 07:49 PM EDT
Sender: Michigan Health Alert Network
Subject: Potentially Poisoned Food
Potentially Poisoned Food
The Michigan Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local law enforcement in Ann Arbor on an investigation involving intentional food contamination at retail grocery stores.
The suspect admitted to intentionally contaminating salad bars and/or produce sections of at least three grocery stores in the greater Ann Arbor area – Whole Foods, Meijer, Inc. and Plum Market – at least twice in the last month. The suspect claims to have sprayed the food with a mixture of a commercial mouse poison, alcohol-based hand-sanitizer and water. Samples have been sent for further laboratory analysis to determine concentration.
The chemicals found in this mixture are a form of anti-coagulant, similar to what is found in medicines that have an anti-clotting function. Based on the known ingredients in the mixture at this time, MDHHS does not anticipate any adverse health effects on individuals who may have ingested potentially contaminated products.
The stores involved have been contacted and additional samples have been collected by law enforcement for further testing. MDARD food inspectors are in the stores this evening conducting follow-up assessments of the potentially affected stores.
Customers are advised to dispose of the following food items: any foods purchased from salad bars, olive bars and ready-to-eat hot and cold food areas from these stores purchased between mid-March and the end of April.
MDARD and MDHHS will continue to coordinate with all agencies involved, along with Washtenaw County Health Department and Michigan’s retail grocery industry. Updates will be provided as new information becomes available. For questions, please contact the MDHHS Division of Environmental Health at 1-800-648-6942 or the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
The full press release including the list of stores is available here: